Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and I am excited! (Those of you who read my blog since the beginnings might remember my Valentine’s packaging post from last year)
I really came to like Valentine’s Day since I moved to Tokyo. Here the day is all about girls giving sweets or presents to the boys, their friends and anyone else deserving a little cheer-up gift, and then on March 14. on White Day, the girls might or might not get an answer gift back.
I’m not too much a fan of the whole gifting pressure, but a lot of the people I know use this day to live out all their baking fantasies – and so do I!
It can be hard to find baking supplies you’re used to use in your home country here in Japan, but on Valentines day everything suddenly becomes available. This year I even saw a small selection of Candy Melts lines up in a Tokyu Hands! Where were you when I had my cake up moment last year? So I stocked up on baking goods and tried something I wanted to test out for quite a while now: icing decorated cookies. I actually tried this before with my sister in a rush of pre-Christmas kitchen experiments, but it definitely did not work as well as it did this time!
Read on for the details and recipes!
As I never tried this before, naturally, I prepped myself by… watching a ton of fast forward cookie-deco videos on Instagram. And then I just went right at it, I made a batch of regular sugar cookies, ate a bunch of cookie dough, found out my oven has a hot spot right in the middle, so I sorted out the kind-of-burned cookies and ate those too… And then finally I was left with perfectly bare cookies, ready to be coated.
I had seen a few very cute emoji cookies online before, so I previously picked up a circle, a heart and a lip shaped cookie cutter, so I had a few Valentine’s Day themes bases to begin with. Then I mixed the Royal Icing. I fail so badly at dividing eggs, so I made pancakes the next day to use up all of my failed egg mixes. I first mixed everything together to be somewhat stiff, so I could make the outlines on the cookies and then later thinned the mixtures out by adding a little more lemon juice. I also used red and yellow food coloring along with cocoa for the darker parts. And then it was all a question of a steady hand and enough patience.
200g all-purpose flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 TBS vanilla
Just mix until everything comes together in a firm dough. Then wrap the dough in saran wrap and put in freezer for a while until you roll it out (3~5mm height) and cut out your cookies.
Bake every batch for about 12min at 170’C – and don’t let half the batch get burned like I did…
1 large egg white
400g powder sugar
A few drops of lemon Juice
Whip up the egg white and gradually add the powder sugar to make a meringue. Add drops of lemon juice to make the mixture more fluid. You will need a thicker meringue for outlining cookies and a slightly more runny one for flooding them! Also, just add food coloring as you like to get the colors you need!
How do you like these cookies? I made these a few days ago already, but none of them survived until today, so I guess the little bit of extra deco work was worth it – and it was so much fun, I would definitely try it again!